Sticking to a nutritious diet is one of the best things that you can do for your overall health, but changing your eating habits might result in deficiencies if you aren’t careful. Nutritional deficiencies are especially common among those who make drastic changes to their dietary habits in a short period of time. Here is a look at four common deficiencies and some steps that you can take to avoid them.
This vitamin is primarily found in animal products, and that is one of the reasons why some vegetarians and vegans develop a vitamin B12 deficiency. An untreated B12 deficiency can result in chronic fatigue, nerve pain, diarrhea, heart palpitations, anemia, and shortness of breath. Most experts agree that healthy adults should try to consume around 10 micrograms of vitamin B12 per day. Vegan sources of vitamin B12 include soy products, plant milks, and cereal grains.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
If you aren’t eating at least a few servings of fatty fish every week, then you should consider taking an omega-3 fatty acids supplement. This group of acids is absolutely vital to your heart health and your cognitive abilities. In addition to fish-based supplements, omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in hemp seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts. When shopping for an omega-3 supplement, you should stick to products that contain both EPA and DHA.
A digestive enzyme is a molecule that enables your body to break down and utilize vitamins and minerals. Those who are deficient in these enzymes often experience a wide array of unwanted medical problems ranging from chronic fatigue to IBS. Taking a high-quality fermented enzyme supplement will improve your digestion, energy levels, immune system, and metabolism. Enzyme supplements are usually made from a mixture of fermented fruits, fermented vegetables, and natural herbs.
Your body creates vitamin D whenever you are exposed to direct sunlight, but some people can’t spend 30 or more minutes outside every day. You also won’t be able to create and use vitamin D unless you are eating plenty of calcium. Both of these nutrients can be found in fortified soymilk, leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, and legumes. Many people who live in colder climates take vitamin D supplements during the fall and winter months to improve their cognitive and emotional health.
Before starting any new diet, you should first speak with a doctor about carrying out a blood test. Scheduling regular blood tests is the most effective way to catch nutritional deficiencies in their earliest stages.